Fake it till you make it. Have you heard that saying? Sometimes you have to pretend to believe something about yourself to make it a reality.
I recently started writing in a journal again. I’ve been keeping journals since I was in 6th or 7th grade (back then it was a diary with a little lock on it) and relatively shortly after I met my husband, my journal writing became less and less frequent until I realized that I had not written a single journal entry since 2008. I always loved how writing my thoughts down on paper helped me to see more clearly and feel like less of a crazy person. It had a very grounding influence on me and it also helped to give me a really strong memory of those times in my life. Not writing the last few years I feel like my memory for details is not quite as strong so I’ve decided to get back in to it!
It’s hard, I don’t have as much that I feel like I need to write about – honestly, back then it was mostly about boys, boys, boys and I don’t really have that kind of drama to write about now! Ha ha! But I’m determined to make it a regular thing again. I miss it!
To get inspired to write again, I decided to start reading some of my old journals and of course, half of them make me cringe inside (omg, did I really do that? say that? care about that?) and the other half of them make me laugh hilariously. I can see exactly how and why I’ve become the person I am today. I’m grateful for all my awkward, messy phases of life because it’s helped shape me into someone I like being. Do I wish I did some things differently? Of course. But I like who I am. I like how I’ve turned out. Is that weird to say?
So many of us have a hard time sincerely saying that we like who we are. We’re not exactly encouraged to accept and embrace ourselves with all of our faults, flaws and quirks. It’s far more acceptable to be self-deprecating. In reading my old journals, I forgot that during a really tough period in my life (around the time my mother died and the years after) I would prep each new journal before I began writing in it with positive sayings written on the bottom of each page, affirmations, pictures and other little goodies to give me a confidence or mood boost when I was writing. I was in a really bad place and my confidence was at an all time low. Writing little sayings seemed like the easiest thing I could do (with the least amount of effort) but over time it really paid off.
Looking at them out of context, I would think that the person whose journals these were (me!), was the biggest conceited egomaniac on the planet. But that wasn’t the case. I wrote these things down during a time when I didn’t believe a single word of it. Now, more than a decade later, not only do I believe most of these things but they’ve become the foundation of my beliefs about myself and others. I faked it till I made it. I was my greatest cheerleader during a time when I least felt like it. I still have moments of self doubt or feeling self conscious at times but trusting in myself makes those thoughts far less devastating than they used to be.
If you are struggling with self doubt, negative thoughts about your abilities, your looks or your inherent self-worth, know that you will stay in those places until you make a conscious decision to no longer welcome those thoughts into your life. As I’ve said many times, nothing changes overnight, but slow progress is better than no progress. You ARE amazing. You ARE smart. You ARE beautiful. You ARE worthy. You deserve to treat yourself with love and kindness and in doing that, you will be more able to treat others that way too (which will come back to you).
What thoughts of yours are getting in the way of you feeling and doing your best? What negative thoughts pass through your head too often? How do you think that is affecting your life?
Perhaps writing in a journal with positive reminders on each page is too much for you but what could you do instead? Maybe a few post it notes placed in your most frequented places (computer monitor, refrigerator, car etc), self love affirmations said in front of a mirror or even just setting limits for how many negative things you can think/say about yourself a day (the goal is zero but let’s just start somewhere!).
Have you turned around damaging negative thoughts about yourself? I’d love to hear what worked for you. Shoot me an email. I’m a real person and I will reply!
This is something I work with my clients on. Holistic coaching means we look at more than diet to help someone live and feel their healthiest (relationships, career, spirituality, physical activity and a few other areas all get attention). I love watching people heal themselves with little more than being kind to themselves. I’d be happy to talk to you to give you an idea of what that would look like. I don’t bite, I promise (well anymore. I have a friend from childhood who would disagree. Sorry Renee!).